Free and Clear? Nice.

One thing that I don’t hear often in the argument of “rent v. own” is the fact that at some point, if you stick it out and pay long enough, as a homeowner you eventually get to be payment free. 

In fact 82% of those aged 62+ are homeowners — not renters; 74% of those owners are free and clear of any mortgage debt (data from the National Council on Aging).  One-half of those ages 55 to 64 who own homes also have no mortgage debt.  Sure, there are still maintenance, utility, taxes and insurance costs — and a tenant still has maintenance and utilities.  But you have an asset of some value, and no payment, and no landlord to be subject to.  I think that’s the green pasture, the gold at the end of the rainbow that many call the “American Dream.” 

I don’t know of many of my peers, nearly all bred in middle-class environments, whose parents in the 65-80 age group, don’t A) Own their homes and B) Own them without any mortgage debt.  Not a bad goal to work towards…even if it takes 30 years to get there.

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